The We Company, formally known as "WeWork", has announced that it has filed confidentially for IPO, following moves by other mature startups such as Lyft, Pinterest, Zoom and Uber to go public this year.
The coworking firm did not reveal any financial information in the filing. The company has, however, historically failed to turn a profit and revealed a net loss of $1.9bn on $1.8bn revenue in 2018, which was double its net loss of $933m on $886m the previous year. Instead, its business model relies of heavy funding from private investors so it can buy real estate, often in expensive markets, while money is made back over time through rent.
Its most notable investor is SoftBank which has so far invested $10bn in the company. SoftBank's latest $2bn cash injection in January this year was to rebrand WeWork as the We Company as it enters its new phase of growth, which will aim encompass more aspects of people's lives, beyond just providing the their workspace. It is with this rebranding, which includes other business units such as flexible residential firm WeLive and and education division WeGrow, the company intends to go public.
"We have regularly focused on how to take our business to the next level in every aspect. As part of keeping all options open, we confidentially filed a draft S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December," the We Company's co-founder Adam Neumann told employees in an internal memo. "After a lot of thought, last week we decided to file the first amendment to our submission, which is a step towards allowing us to decide to become a public company."